Old media has been chugging along for a long while now, and we all know it's not really going anywhere.  But new media has started to chip away at its audience, especially when it comes to the young folks.  As the internet, the "new medium," has started showing gains and providing all of that old media stuff under one roof, the idea is that the same techniques for making old media successful can work for new media.  But that just isn't the case, because there is a major difference between the old and the new, and it has to do with active, rather than passive, involvement.

Old Media Vs. New Media: The Breakdown

Television is declining in two very important demographics: the 12-17 crowd, and those aged 18-29.  TV viewing dropped 14-15% in the past year among those age groups, while online video has increased dramatically.  So why the shift?  Let's take a look at the aspects of both the old and the new.

When we watch old media, it's for our own self-benefit.  When we watch new media, we watch for social benefit.  When we watch TV, we're kicking back and watching the latest episode of our favorite show and we can't really interact.  With the internet, we can comment, like, favorite, and get involved, we feel part of a community.

In old media, there are people paid a lot of money to be other people: yep, we're talking about actors.  With new media, we demand that our personalities be authentic.  We want people we can connect with and people who are more like us.

In old media, shows are character-centric.  You're a passive observer into someone's story.  In new media, shows are viewer-centric, where the personality says, "This is my story, and you are a part of it."

With old media, the message is: Watch This! With new media, the message is: Join This!  Let's build something together.

With old media, people are coming to see shows.  With new media, people are coming to see people.

With all of that in mind, it's time to see YouTube as a social media platform rather than a content-delivery platform.  It's probably why those who have a really easy time attracting viewers to old media have such a hard time attracting people to new media.  They are completely different and require different techniques for building an audience.

The question I would like to ask is, "How would your content and video strategy be different if you used YouTube the same way that you, personally, use Facebook?"  Comment below or go to the watch page and give us your thoughts.

  • Stephanie M Scott

    Wow, thats about the best description of new media, 360 degree media, crowdsourced media, transmedia.... strategy that I have yet come across. Thank you.

  • Chris Abbott

    Spot on Tim... New media is about Engagement..

    Gen Y and Z love their Content being more snackable which works well with Facebook and Mobile.
    Baby Boomers and some Gen X prefer longform vids as they dont like to multi task their media as much. :)

  • Rowby Goren

    You are right on target. I've been in Old Media. -- where our only meadurement was the rating system. Today's internet world lets us interconnect with our audience. Much more exciting and essential to the creative process. Congrats on your insight on this issue. ...Rowby

    • Tim Schmoyer

      Thanks, Rowby! Glad it's helpful!